How to use the stamp duty calculator
When purchasing a home or investment property, there are a number of costs that can take buyers by surprise, especially if you’re a first-time home buyer and you’re just becoming familiar with how the entire buying process works.
Whilst there are a few costs that can be factored into your home loan, there are others that are required to be paid upfront, and by a certain deadline – and this includes the stamp duty for the residential property you have purchased.
It’s important to note that the amount of stamp duty payable is subject to a few varying calculations, and the total cost is influenced by which state or territory you are purchasing in, the property’s value or purchase price, and if it will be your primary place of residence or as an investment.
Stamp duty can often be a substantial amount to pay, and one to factor into the budget earlier on. In saying this, what are you really paying for when it comes to stamp duty?
What is stamp duty?
Stamp duty is a mandatory tax that the state and territory governments levy on a home buyer, whenever they purchase a property. The payment is due by a certain date, depending on which state or territory the property is stationed or purchased within.
For instance, in NSW, stamp duty is required to be paid no later than three months after settlement of the property, while in QLD this time-frame is just 30 days, and in SA, payment needs to be finalised on or before settlement day.
A complete run-down of how your state or territory determines stamp duty can be accessed in Your Mortgage’s state-by-state guide to stamp duty, with further information provided on each state or territory’s revenue office online.
More questions about stamp duty? Speak to an expert here
The stamp duty amount needs to be paid directly to the state or territory’s revenue office in which the property has been purchased in.
What is land transfer duty
‘Land transfer duty’ is just another term used for ‘stamp duty’, but it breaks down the purpose of the tax even more clearly – as it is a one-off payment for the transfer of the land on which the property is stationed, from one person to the next, or from seller to buyer. It can also be called ‘transfer duty’.
How do you calculate stamp duty?
Land transfer, or stamp duty, fees vary, depending on the state or territory you are purchasing in. Each region has its own sliding scale, subject to its own calculations.
Ultimately, the cost of stamp duty is determined by the dutiable value of your property, which is the price you paid for it, or its value on the market at the time of purchase.
The lower the value of the property, the lower the stamp duty bracket will be, and the less you will have to pay on stamp duty.
To look at it another way, Stamp duty is calculated by applying a sliding scale of taxation, with percentages increasing according to the value of the property. The general rule is that the cheaper the property, the less tax will be paid.
Most states and territories have a system that will slot your property into a value category (e.g $100-$250,000) and will ask for a lump sum plus an extra amount for every $100 over the lower end of the category (e.g. $100,000).
What factors affect stamp duty?
Other than where the property is located and its dutiable value, there are also a number of other factors that determine the cost of stamp duty – and they’re all worth knowing about. If one of them applies to you, it could save you thousands of dollars.
If the property is handed over to a family member following a death or divorce, the new owner will not be required to pay stamp duty.
Furthermore, under first-home owner grants and schemes, some states exempt first-time home buyers from paying stamp duty, up to a certain value.
Concession rates are also available for pensioners, carers and farmers. However, these are all subject to the varying laws of each state and territory. Your residency status plays an important role also, especially if you are a foreign purchaser.
Other factors that impact stamp duty include the purpose of the property, ie. whether it is being purchased for home or investment.
Do you understand all the factors? Ask an expert here
How does property type affect stamp duty?
Both investors and home buyers are subject to paying stamp duty, but the amount of duty payable can depend on whether the property will be your primary place of residence, or whether it is an investment property, such as a holiday home or rental.
Generally, if it’s not an investment property, the cost of stamp duty will be lower.
There are also concession rates available for properties that are bought off a plan, as the value of the property is calculated only on the land value and is therefore reduced. This lowers the amount of duty payable.
How accurate is this stamp duty calculator?
The Your Mortgage stamp duty calculator considers the dutiable value of the property, the state or territory it is purchased within, and the property type.
Data is sourced directly from the relevant state or territory office of state revenue, to ensure the most accurate figures.
However, calculations should be used as a guide only. There are a number of other factors that can determine stamp duty costs. Laws and fees surrounding stamp duty are also open to legislative change by the state and territory governments.
How can a conveyancer or solicitor help with stamp duty rates and questions?
Due to stamp duty’s varying nature, the enforcement of a due date, and also considering it can cost up to tens of thousands of dollars, it’s advised that a home buyer employs the help of an experienced solicitor or conveyancer throughout the property buying process.
They are not only able to answer specific questions concerning the cost of the stamp duty as applicable to your state or territory, but they are also disposed to the most up-to-date knowledge on the relevant laws, concessions and exemptions that play a part in determining the duty payable.
A conveyancer or solicitor can also directly manage the paperwork that comes with stamp duty, as well as finalise the payment of the tax directly to the state or territory’s revenue office. This takes some of the stress out of the buying process and ensures everything is done efficiently and accurately.
What are transfer fees and mortgage registration fees?
When a seller hands over a property to a buyer, the land in which the property sits on needs to be transferred into the new owner’s name, done by submitting a Transfer of Land document.
Once again, the costs of updating the land’s ownership title depends on which state or territory the property is purchased in.
There is also the fee that comes with registering a mortgage, or home loan, by submitting a legal document that assigns or attaches the home loan to the property, thus securing it.
How can a mortgage broker help with my stamp duty?
In helping a you secure a competitive home loan that suits your goals and financial position, a qualified and experienced mortgage broker can also assist in calculating how much you should expect to pay in stamp duty, according to the property you are purchasing and the state or territory it sits in.
Knowing the stamp duty amount earlier on can help you best budget for it, and it’s always advantageous to have a professional guide you through the buying process – especially helpful for first-time home buyers.
About this calculator
Stamp duty calculations offered via this calculator should be used as a guide only. The estimated cost does not take into account any concession rates or exemptions that can apply to stamp duty, as well as residency status. The fees referenced are current rates but are subject to change at any given time.
Most states and territories have a first-time buyer concession in place for stamp duty. This is designed to make it easier for people to get their first home.
Check with your state or territory revenue office for more information: ACT, NSW, NT, QLD, SA, TAS, VIC and WA